A trio of community innovators and activists — Fabian Debora, Leshell Hatley and David Sengeh — who inspire young people to improve their communities will share their success stories as the featured plenary speakers during the third day, June 13, of the 3-day Digital Media and Learning Conference.
Debora, an artist whose murals have been featured in museum exhibits nationwide as well as public spaces throughout East Los Angeles, is a substance abuse counselor and mentor at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.
Hatley, a computer engineer, educator and researcher, is founder and executive director of Uplift, Inc., a nonprofit STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education organization in Washington D.C., where she leads students and professionals toward innovative technology-based product designs to improve human performance.
Sengeh, a Harvard University and MIT-trained biomechatronics engineer who developed patented technology in the design of comfortable prosthetics, is a TED fellow and co-founder of the international charitable organization, Global Minimum (GMin), that encourages young people in Africa to engage in critical thinking skills and hands-on learning programs that tackle challenges affecting their communities.
Moderating the plenary, “Youth Making Change: Putting Equity Into Practice,” will be international activist Nishant Shah, founder and director of research for the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society.
Saturday, June 13, 9 a.m.
The Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown
711 South Hope Street
The plenary also will be livestreamed.
“The panelists on this plenary bring together some crucial questions about what it means to be working with youth,” Shah said. “While there have been different approaches of outside-in, where we work with young people as informants, as disciples, as students and as learners, there is often a bottom-up approach where the youth become actors who execute our visions and perform the scripts of change without actually having a stake in the process. This plenary hopes to look at the young as not just the bearers of information but as creators of frameworks that shall define our futures, and it seeks to understand what kind of infrastructure, mentoring and power equilibrium needs to be built in order to design research, learning and interventions that are informed and shaped by the young people we work with.”
Through Debora, Hatley and Sengeh’s work, “youth emerge as leaders that inspire others to be more creative,” Sengeh added.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE:
The “Youth Making Change” plenary is one of scores of featured discussions on equity in design, this year’s Digital Media and Learning Conference theme. The 6th annual conference calls for learning organizations and institutions to explore ways for youth to engage in meaningful and relevant learning.
Mimi Ko Cruz